Local recruitment: Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist

The World Bank

Washington, D.C., USA 🇺🇸


Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? Working at the World Bank Group provides a unique opportunity for you to help our clients solve their greatest development challenges. The World Bank Group is one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries; a unique global partnership of five institutions dedicated to ending extreme poverty, increasing shared prosperity and promoting sustainable development. With 189 member countries and more than 120 offices worldwide, we work with public and private sector partners, investing in groundbreaking projects and using data, research, and technology to develop solutions to the most urgent global challenges. For more information, visit www.worldbank.org

Water Global Practice and the Sustainable Development Practice Group

The water challenges of the world are tremendous. For human development, livable cities, food security, and energy security the need for better water resources management is growing. Even today, 2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation, of which 1 billion people practice open defecation. Poor sanitation, including inadequate wastewater collection and treatment, impacts health, education, the environment, and industries such as tourism. At least 800 million people lack access to safe drinking water. The lack of access to safe water and sanitation results in significant economic losses in many countries. This is further exacerbated by climate change, water pollution, water scarcity, and the global covid-19 pandemic in a fast-changing world.

The Water Global Practice (WTR GP) is poised to deliver on a Water Secure World through an approach that focuses on Sustaining Water Resources, Delivering Services and Building Resilience. The WTR GP also seeks to ensure that water issues are effectively addressed across all related sub-sectors, such as agriculture, climate change and disaster risk management, and energy (hydropower). An integrated approach is adopted In each sub-sector, with the support of its respective Global Solutions Group, which considers investment alongside issues such as governance, institutions, and policies.

The Water GP is housed within the Sustainable Development Practice Group, which brings together the cross-cutting sectors of Water with Agriculture, Environment, Social Inclusion, and Urban and Disaster Risk Management. The GP, through its fully integrated GWSP Trust Fund, places highest priority on global knowledge into local implementation, as well as in deploying staff to countries and regions while still working globally

Western and Central Africa (AFW) Region

Western and Central Africa is a region with diverse cultures, beliefs, languages, and lifestyles – marked by contrasts of stability and conflict; affluence and poverty.  Home to about half a billion people, it encompasses 22 countries stretching from the westernmost point of Africa across the equator and partly along the Atlantic Ocean to the Republic of Congo in the South. Yet these vast opportunities are tempered by persistent gaps in education, health, and skills, which have Africa not reaching its estimated potential. Moreover, conflict, food insecurity, population growth, and the disruptive forces of climate change threaten to curtail or even reverse the progress that has been made over the past decades. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought back to the forefront the risks posed by weak health and water supply and sanitation systems, and poor surveillance. The water team within the West and Central Africa Region is led by the Water Practice Manager who reports to the AFR-West SD Regional Director, who leads the strategy of RISE:  resilience, integration, sustainability and efficiency.

AFW Water Team (SAWW1)

Within the West and Central Africa Region, the hiring unit, or the AFW Water team (SAWW1), is responsible for ensuring the translation of the World Bank’s Africa Regional Strategy and the Water Global Practice’s Water Security Strategy into practical results relevant to 22 countries, from Mauritania to Gabon. Specifically, the unit supports the definition and achievement of these results through analytical, policy, and investment activities. The unit has a staffing complement of around 35 water professionals, with an active portfolio of over $3.6 Billion, through 17 investment projects, 3 Programs for Results, Advisory Services and Analytics, and contribution to Development Policy Financing.  The successful candidate will report to the SAWW1 Water Practice Manager.


The SAWW1 unit seeks to recruit a Water and Sanitation Specialist to: (1) help lead the implementation of operations in AFW as well as prepare new operations; (2) provide technical and operational guidance on other projects in the SAWW1 unit in particular in relation to performance-based results and disruptive technologies; (3) work on analytics and participate in global knowledge through the GSGs.



  • Provide expertise on issues related to urban and rural water and sanitation in project preparation, implementation and analytics.
  • Co-TTL, and eventually TTL, integrated water with large Bank operations and analytical work in at least two of the three water sector areas (WSS/WASH, WiA/irrigation and WRM).  
  • Contribute to the global solutions groups of the Water GP, providing innovation and support as required. 
  • Collaborate across AFR SD GPs and all PGs as appropriate.  
  • Be a great team player and contributing member of SAWW1, AFR SD and the Water GP and collaborate across AFR SD GPs and all PGs as appropriate.  

Selection Criteria

  • Requires a Master’s degree in engineering or economics, demonstrating strong technical expertise in hydraulic, civil or irrigation engineering with atleast 5years of relevant experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience working in rural and urban water supply and sanitation services in the Bank and either in the private sector or other sphere. Deep understanding of technical issues with a focus on urban and rural WASH and disruptive technologies.
  • The candidate ideally should have demonstrated the ability to work as part of a Bank operational team, and prepared and implemented Bank programs, ideally in a fragile context. The candidate should also demonstrate deep analytical understanding in the area of urban and rural WASH. 
  • The candidate should have a good understanding of performance-based instruments.
  • A demonstrated understanding of working in the Sub-Saharan African context as well as in the FCV space is important. 
  • Fluency in French and English is a must.  Additional fluency in Spanish is desired.
  • Demonstrated track record as results-oriented and an excellent team player is important. 

World Bank Group Core Competencies

The World Bank Group offers comprehensive benefits, including a retirement plan; medical, life and disability insurance; and paid leave, including parental leave, as well as reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

We are proud to be an equal opportunity and inclusive employer with a dedicated and committed workforce, and do not discriminate based on gender, gender identity, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability.

Learn more about working at the World Bank and IFC, including our values and inspiring stories. 






IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development